Backup catcher Craig Tatum, making his first start today for the Orioles, assumed that Brad Bergesen hadn’t faced Tampa Bay in the regular season because he couldn’t find video of the game.
Maybe the Orioles burned it.
Bergesen took the loss last year after giving up four runs and nine hits, including a homer, in 5 2/3 innings.
Tatum is looking for any advantage as he gets more acquainted with the pitching staff. He caught Bergesen twice in spring training and has set the target in numerous bullpen sessions.
“I’m comfortable with him,” Tatum said. “When it comes to catching, once a guy’s thrown a pitch I’ve called, I should be able to catch it.”
On a more serious note, Tatum has sat next to pitching coach Rick Kranitz and discussed how to catch Bergesen, and Kevin Millwood offered some tips two nights ago while Jeremy Guthrie was on the mound. Millwood kept pointing out how Bergesen’s approach would differ from Guthrie’s.
“I’ve just been talking a lot and listening and watching video and doing whatever I need to do, so when I do finally get to play, I don’t look like an idiot,” Tatum said.
Tatum said the only nerves he felt today were caused by his inactivity the last two weeks.
“I just hope I don’t trip,” he said.
“I’ll just go out there and play hard and have fun. You’ll never hear me complain. I’m in the big leagues. There’s nothing to complain about.”
Meanwhile, Miguel Tejada was charged with an error in the first inning after a miscommunication with shortstop Cesar Izturis on a pop up. They looked at each other, Tejada made a late reach for the ball and it bounced on the dirt.
Another one of those plays, like Felix Pie’s baserunning blunder last night, that make you scratch your head or bang it against a wall. No excuse for it.
And typical of the Orioles’ luck, Evan Longoria walked with two outs and Carlos Pena hit a three-run homer.